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Clinical Epidemiology Group

Clinical Epidemiology Group

Irish Comparative Outcomes Study of Cystic Fibrosis (ICOS Study)

The Irish Comparative Outcomes Study of Cystic Fibrosis (the ICOS study), funded by the HRB, involves all the specialist paediatric centres for CF in Ireland, the Cystic Fibrosis Registry of Ireland, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and international collaborators. This historical comparative cohort study began in 2013 with patients diagnosed since 2008 and their parents invited to partake.  The first phase of the study showed improvements in hospitalisation for pulmonary exacerbations in the first 3 years of life, better growth and delayed acquisition of pseudomonas aeruginosa in the screen-detected cohort.  The second phase of the study is currently in train, with new HRB funding in late 2019. The evaluation of clinical outcomes will be repeated, however this time it will extend to age 8-11 years and include the impact of the new CFTR modulator treatment for CF. A new parental quality of life and carer burden questionnaire develop by collaborators in the University of Liverpool is being used to capture parental views. Patient costs are being captured; the cost analysis will be conducted in cooperation with collaborators in the School of Economics UCD and in Bangor University, Wales. Comparisons with European data will be facilitated by the Cystic Fibrosis Registry of Ireland. This study will be completed in late 2024.

Patricia Fitzpatrick is Full Professor of Epidemiology & Biomedical Statistics at UCD and the Principal Investigator of the ICOS Study. She was Chair of the Steering Committee of Healthy UCD from its inception in 2016 until 2023 (https://www.ucd.ie/healthyucd/). She is Consultant in Preventative Medicine at the UCD affiliated St Vincent’s University Hospital. She is Board Member of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety. She is a member of the Guidelines Development Group of the European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer 2015-2025. Her research interests are disease prevention and screening.

She was recently PI on two Irish Cancer Society funded studies, the first looking at the feasibility of smoking cessation pathway for patients with cancer and the second conducting an evaluation of Irish Cancer Society cancer roadshows.

Other current research includes The impact of E-cigarettes on Childhood Health Outcomes (ECHO) study (funded by SFI) (PI Prof Des Cox and Prof Carmen Regan), a National Cancer Control Programme-funded study of cancer awareness in the Traveller population (PI Dr Patricia Fox),  international surveys of interval cancer audit in cervical and breast screening, studies of the impact of COVID-19 on cancer screening programmes in Ireland and a CSO/HRCDC facilitated study of the impact of lifestyle factors on COVID-19 outcomes (see below).

Modifiable risk factors & COVID-19 outcomes in hospital using CSO data with Health Research Consent Declaration approval

Professor Patricia Fitzpatrick and Professor Cecily Kelleher are conducting a study on the impact of modifiable risk factors on hospital outcomes following a diagnosis of COVID-19.

Conditions that raise the chances of having an illness are known as risk factors. Risk factors are either modifiable (meaning they can be changed by the individual person) or non-modifiable (meaning they cannot be changed).
The objective of the study is to assess the impact of modifiable risk factors including weight, BMI and smoking status, taking into account the effect of age, gender, ethnicity and co-morbidities including diabetes, hypertension, cancer and hypertension, on outcomes of COVID-19. We will be looking at outcomes such as ICU admission and ventilation.

The study population will be people who tested positive with COVID-19 in Ireland and were registered in the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR) system from April 2020 onwards.

This study will be using pseudonymised data on this population, with access to the data given under strict privacy arrangements by the CSO. This study has been approved by the Health Research Consent Declaration Committee and UCD Research Ethics Committee.



Lifeways is a long term project which allows us to follow people over a period of time. The study is different in that it is ‘cross-generation’ – some families have three generations taking part – and we have a particular interest in looking at the effect of food and nutrition on health. The study started in 2000 and the first families were recruited in 2001. At the beginning over a thousand mothers at ante-natal clinics in the Coombe University Hospital Dublin and in University College Hospital Galway agreed to take part. These pregnancies resulted in 1092 ‘index’ babies and their mothers, including 12 pairs of twins. Over nine hundred families also provided information on fathers and grandparents as well. We have been following the children’s health and development ever since, including when children were 3, 5 and now 9 years old. As well as the more formal information we collect, we like to hear how the children are getting on, including pictures, stories and news about their lives.

UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science

University College Dublin Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7777 | E: public.health@ucd.ie